Midweek Writing Prompt: Landscape Memory (8/27/14)

In my classrooms and workshops, I strive to create safe, welcoming writing communities where individuals feel free to explore ideas, stories, and concepts without judgment. After all, we need those spaces to get started. The judgment – of editors, professors, critical friends – will come later. But in the beginning, we need that soft, friendly embrace where anything is possible and everyone loves you. Let’s go there together.

When my schedule allows, I will post writing prompts for you to play with. I encourage you to write something and to share those initial efforts in the comment section, or even your response to the prompt – tell us what happened when you sat down to write. After all, some of these prompts will lead you down a path toward publication – I’ve seen that happen often enough to be confident in that statement.

Give it a try! 🙂


Writing Prompt: Landscape Memory

Think about a place in your life where you experienced some kind of hurt, whether it was physical or psychological or emotional. The place where this hurt occurred holds powerful stories of your experience. You may need to close your eyes and really meditate on what this place looked like, sounded like, smelled like, felt like. Allow yourself to fully feel all of the sensations, and once your mind is overloaded with sensory details, start writing. It doesn’t matter how you begin or where in the space or moment you start, all the matters is that you start writing. Write until all of the sensory details and actions and conversations and landscape descriptions are down.

Now save it and step away. Don’t read what you just wrote right away. Talk a walk. Fix yourself a cup of coffee. Go outside and breathe in the fresh air. You have just relived a landscape memory and you may still feel the effects. New ideas may sprout out of this foundation, or perhaps just expanded ideas based on what you just wrote. When you are ready and feel suitably refreshed, return to your words and read what you wrote.

See what happens. You might be surprised.



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